Both contests go at 7-1/2 furlongs on the main track. More Than A Cruise is favored to beat the fillies. Glib is the program choice against the boys.
“The last race was tough. He didn’t break well and had to chase lone speed in a short field, which made it difficult,” Pino said. “With a larger field and outside post position we have some options this time. He has natural speed and we will not be too far back but the big factor is the distance. It is a long way home to the second wire and that final quarter is a big test.”
Jack’s In The Deck (3-1), fourth in the Maryland Million Nursery, followed that with a victory in the First State Dash at Delaware and a fifth at Aqueduct in the Toccet Stakes. Abel Castellano rides for trainer Robin Graham.
Bull H (4-1) merits mention off his two wins at Laurel Park, once against maidens and the other against optional claimers. Julian Pimentel continues to ride the son of Deputy Storm for trainer Patrick Magill.
Six other 2-year-old Maryland-bred colts or gelding are expected in the Juvenile, which is the eighth race on the card.
Two races earlier, seven 2-year-old Maryland-bred fillies will face starter Bruce Wagner.
After trouncing maidens last time out, More Than A Cruise (2-1) wheels back in the Filly Championship with Luis Garcia for trainer Larry Murray. The More Than Ready filly has speed and close stalking ability, both advantageous for a one turn test.
Jazzy Idea (5-2) rides a two-race win streak into Saturday. In five starts, all at Laurel, she has two wins and two seconds, with her only off the board finish in the Maryland Million Lassie. Abel Castellano has the riding assignment on the daughter of Great Notion.
“I wish we had more than nine days since her last race but she is doing well,” said trainer Edwin Merryman. “She has been running against good runners in all five starts. In her first race we were second to Sweet Seventeen, a Graham Motion, who came back to win an A other than a Keeneland and was second in a Grade 2 at Woodbine in her next two starts. In the Maryland Million she was very green. Since then she was good against Dance to Bristol and won her last two.”
Bluegrass Atatude (4-1) is the only stakes winner in the field, winning the Maryland Million Lassie here on October 1 for trainer John Salzman, Jr. Harry Vega has the mount on the daughter of Two Punch. In her last start she was fifth behind Defy Gravity and Dance to Bristol in the Smart Halo Stakes last month.
“My filly is coming out of a tough race. Those two fillies came back and ran first and third in a stakes in New York” (Pandera Stakes at Aqueduct on December 7), Salzman said. “It is a tough spot. Larry Murray’s horse ran a big number in her win earlier this month but the horse that really impresses me is Jazzy Idea. We beat her by three lengths (actually 3-1/2) but she has come back to run well against Dance to Bristol and then won twice. My filly is training super. I think she is well suited to get the 7 ½ distance.”
Plum (3-1) has won two straight heading into the race for trainer Rodney Jenkins. Travis Dunkelberger was aboard the Pure Prize offspring, who worked a bullet half-mile (48.60) here Monday morning.
SATURDAY’S 5TH RACE FOR TRAINERS WHO HAVEN’T RUN OUTSIDE OF LAUREL SINCE SEPTEMBER 9
Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary Georganne Hale wanted to say thank you to the horsemen stabled at Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center who did not run a horse away from Laurel since the fall meeting opened Friday, September 9. So, Hale wrote $25,000 starter allowance race on Saturday closing card and the 7-furlong test drew 11 starters.